On Saturday 10th September we braved the rain and wandered down to the creative sector, to the Custard Factory to see what delights awaited us and we weren’t alone. As we turned the corner we were greeted by a long line of excited children, and adults, who were patiently waiting; it was a buzz of activity.
They were all waiting to get inside Katje’s Magic Candy Factory pop up, the rainbow coloured beacon in the midst of this industrial factory courtyard. We interviewed Melissa Snover, Managing Director, at the launch of their first Birmingham store.
“In the past customisation was completely impossible, it was all mass produced but people want something unique every time.” This goes along with the remit that Melissa believes is most important to the retail market. Personalisation and bringing complicated technology is paramount, she said, “with our 3D printing plug and play design software it takes very complex technology which is difficult to use and allows anyone any one from a 3 year old to grandma and grandpa to engage with 3D printing.”
The Candy Factory started in Birmingham and its home to their research and development department, all the innovation is upstairs in the Custard Factory. It was chosen as the ideal space as within 10 miles of the factory is three universities offering 3d printing degrees as well as the high calibre of tech coming out of the city. Melissa said “I believe that Birmingham is the tech hub of the UK… in England, Birmingham is Silicone Valley and London is New York.”
3D printing is already revolutionising the industry already making big waves in all sectors of the manufacturing industry. You can see why, the Candy Factory is right to call it magic as in just five minutes you can turn your own drawn design, logo or selfie into an edible gummy candy; all while watching the process through the viewing window of the machine. Getting inside the ‘factory’ processes to create your own design makes it easy for any one to become interested in the process. “Making technology approachable for the main stream market is vital if technology is to have an impact on the world.”
With all of this innovation it is easy to see why the queue was so long. Melissa hopes to capitalise on this success with a roll of out of 10 stores all over the UK, starting on the October 10th – October 31st. Both the younger and older generation can step inside and see the future of retail. The only limit is your imagination.
We'd like to say a massive thank you to Melissa and her team for talking to us, find out all of their details here: